It's looks like real far from. I'm working on a map like this, and I'm using cloud effect. This method is very useful, if you're trying real things. But I've a problem with rivers, I guess. I can't use pen tool to create rivers. I'll try it again and again.
I'm actually in the middle of school right now, so my time is being taken up by classes and school work. Any maps I don't end up using I do put up here (though work has been pretty sparse) so I'm not doing requests at the moment, and only doing paid commissions.
It is actually plausible not to have ice on the poles. Thousands of years ago, there was no ice on the North Pole because the air was just too dry. It was still freezing cold; there was just no precipitation, so there was no ice.